Seeking research on divine name in targums


First, He uses the first person imperfect of the Hebrew verb “to be”; here the Vulgate, the Septuagint, Aquila, Theodotion, and the Arabic version suppose that God uses the imperfect qal; only the Targums of Jonathan and of Jerusalem imply the imperfect hiphil. Hence we have the renderings: “I am who am” (Vulgate), “I am who is” (Septuagint), “I shall be {who] shall be” (Aquila, Theodotion), “the Eternal who does not cease” (Ar.); only the above-mentioned Targums see any reference to the creation of the world.

The second time, God uses again the first person imperfect of the Hebrew verb “to be”; here the Syriac, the Samaritan, the Persian versions, and the Targums of Onkelos and Jerusalem retain the Hebrew, so that one cannot tell whether they regard the imperfect as a qal or a hiphil form; the Arabic version omits the whole clause; but the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Targum of Jonathan suppose here the imperfect qal: “He Who Is, hath sent me to you” instead of "I Am, hath sent me to you: (Vulgate); “ho on sent me to you” (Septuagint); “I am who am, and who shall be, hath sent me to you” (Targ. Jon.).

Finally, the third time, God uses the third person of the imperfect, or the form of the sacred name itself; here the Samaritan version and the Targum of Onkelos retain the Hebrew form; the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Syriac version render “Lord”, though, according to the analogy of the former two passages, they should have translated, “He Is, the God of your fathers, . . . hath sent me to you”; the Arabic version substitutes “God”. Classical exegesis, therefore, regards Jahveh as the imperfect qal of the Hebrew verb “to be”.

The Divine Name and the “second death” in the Apocalypse and in the Targums chapter 4 of The New Testament and the Palestinian Targum to the Pentateuch by Martin McNamara.

TJI means Targum of Pseudo-Jonathan.

See, TJI Ex 3:14, Deut 32:39, Rev 1:4, 8; 4:8; 11:17, 16:5


When the Word [Memra] of the LORD will be revealed to release his people
he will say to all the peoples:
–“Now see that** I (am) he [ani hu] who is and was
and I (am) he who is destined to be.**
There is no other god beside me!
With my Word I make dead and I make live!
I humbled the people of the house of Israel
and I will heal them in the end [suq] of days.
And there is none to rescue from the hands of Gog and his army [Ezek 38],
when they come to order the ranks for battle against them.”
---- Targum, Neofiti on Deut 32:39

“who is to come” is left out in Rev 11:17, 16:15 because Jesus as God has arrived.

The divine name of this above form, “who is, who was, and who is to come” is used in Hellenistic sources of Platon, Pausanias, Plutarch – “concest of eternity” as meaning, also used in Hellenistic Judaism in LXX, Jer 1:6, 14:13; 39(32):17, also used in Rabbinic Judaism in Mekilta de-Rabbi Ishmael on Exodus 15:3 which employs Deut 32:39 with Isiah 41:4 emphasizing the immutablity of God.

Midrash Psalms 72:1 reads "I created the world with compassion and I govern it with compassion and **I will rerturn to Jerusalem with compassion. **

See also, the alphabet of Rabbi Akiba which reads in part, “I have been and I will be … and I am the same who will be in the world to come”.

TJI on Exodus 3:14 “I am he who is and who will be”

TJI on Deut 32:39 “I am he who is and who was and I am he who will be.”

The above is information that John would have had in mind when he wrote the book of Revelation.


The above is information that John would have had in mind when he wrote the book of Revelation.

Revelation 1:4

4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

Revelation 1:8

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord,] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 4:8

The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

  “ Holy, holy, holy,
  Lord God Almighty, 
  **Who was and is and is to come!”** 

Note it is at this point that God has already come, well guess who showed up for dinner, Jesus!!!

Revelation 11:17


  “ We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, 
  The One **who is and who was**,
  Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 

Revelation 16:5

And I heard the angel of the waters saying:

  “ You are righteous, O Lord,
  The One who is and who was, the Holy One
  Because You have judged these things. 

Basically the book of Revelation is about the Unveiling of Jesus!

Up to chapter 11, the divine name is applied to Jesus plus the words “who is to come”. After this passage Rev 11:5, I think it was, those words “who is to come” are dropped because God has returned to Jersulem in the person of Jesus.


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